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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2012 :  23:52:19  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By pure chance - trying to find a decent history of Westgate - I hit upon something interesting canon...

quote:
From pg.60 of Cloak & Dagger
Finally, the Night Masks has assembled several adventuring companies from within its ranks and sent them into the Gulthmere Forest. Exactly what such groups are looking for remains a mystery, but whispers suggest that the Night Masters seek the legendary lost city of Ilimar.


Still don't know about Westgate's history, though. Stupid city...

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 01 Jun 2012 05:52:22
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4047 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  00:00:47  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can tell you it officially became a Human City at the date -349 DR.

Grand History of the Realms is FULL of information about Westgate.

Does the information about the Night Masks offer a date as of when this is going on?

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1755 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  00:16:59  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

I can tell you it officially became a Human City at the date -349 DR.

Grand History of the Realms is FULL of information about Westgate.

Does the information about the Night Masks offer a date as of when this is going on?



http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20010327d

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/

Edited by - ericlboyd on 01 Jun 2012 00:18:20
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4047 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  01:19:00  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

I can tell you it officially became a Human City at the date -349 DR.

Grand History of the Realms is FULL of information about Westgate.

Does the information about the Night Masks offer a date as of when this is going on?



http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20010327d



HOLY!

Thanks!!!

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4047 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  05:12:57  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Updated history is ready...much more detail; but may still need fine tuning if I'm missing something obvious. Anyone who wants, please read it and see if you find anything "wrong" about it.

A download can be found here:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10166328/FR%20Five%20Shires%20Timeline.docx

PRINTED COPY HERE

THE FIVE SHIRES HISTORY

Circa -950 DR – “The Early Days.” The coming of halflings to Faerdinel and the building of Faerdinel Keep. The Hin make contact with the Gentle Folk, a group of pacifist elven folk who start to mentor the Halflings. Hin records do not indicate where these Hin come from; but many suspect after excavations that the Hin of The Five Shires may have been slaves belonging to Netherese Spelljamming Arcanists which fought for their freedom and forced the ship they were on to crash where Faerdinel was founded. Whether these Hin were from Faerun or some other world is unknown.

Circa -700 DR – Rise of the orc realm of Vastar. Orcs all around the Inner Sea are multiplying rapidly by this time; swarming over the lands seeking new homelands after their crushing defeat during the Orcgate Wars fought centuries before.

-652 DR- The Elves (the Gentle Folk) disappear; fearing their total destruction, the Gentle Folk Retreat to Evermeet on a “Last Ride” borne aloft and away upon the backs of golden winged horses.. Orcs invade the land and enslave the Hin. The Realm of Othrong is founded.

-617 to -616 DR – The First Rising. Hin over-throw orc-king Raurgh at the battles of Hinskulls (-617), Orcfall (-617) and in the Spring Slaughter (-616). Rule of the Elders established in -616 DR; Kingdom of Hindon founded.

-615 DR – The Hin send a diplomatic party to Cormanthor seeking alliance with the elves of that land against the Orcs of the mountains. Some few elven youths seeking adventure journey to Hindon and find the land to their liking; but only a handful remain.

-590 DR – The Fall of Hindon; orcs burn the Elderhall. The Dark Years begin. Duergar and orcs fight for control of the Hin lands beneath the shadowy canopy of the Gulthmere Forest in the battles of Bloody Sands (-588), Fireaxe Field (-584) and the Hill of Cold Teeth (-580).

-581 DR – Dwarven rule begins. The Duergar adventurer Loktal Ironshield is crowned King of the Glittering Land. Any elves in the land chased out or slaughtered. Hin enslaved. The dwarven kingdom quickly grows rich, attracting orc and human invasions that weaken the surface holdings of the Duergar.

-564 DR – The Second Rising. King Loktal defeats orcs at Brokenfang Falls and rushes south to repel gnoll invaders coming east from the western reaches of the Gulthmere, but is too weak to withstand a Hin revolt. Hin found the realm of Shaerdon, ruled by a Council of Hin clan lords.

-530 DR – The “Year of Meager Means” begets a horrible crop famine among the Hin fields of Shaerdon. While none truly starve to death, belts are tightened and many Hin decide to leave Shaerdon for other lands.

-453 to -444 DR – Corruption and rivalries of Hin Lords erupt in the Clanstrife, marked by the Bloodletting (-453) and the battles of Manycoats (-451) and Bell Horse Ford (-449). Orcs come down from the mountains in force (-448) and slowly crush Hin resistance.

-443 to -426 DR – The Time of Torment; Hin enslaved under the orc-king Thrail. King Thrail pays tribute to the dragon Thauglorimorgorus the Black Doom in Hin slaves for the dragon to devour in return for aiding King Thrail in his invasion of Shaerdon.

-426 to -413 DR – Reign of Goghkh; torment of the Hin continues. Goghkh continues to pay Hin-blood tribute to the dragon Thauglor.

-412 to -390 DR – Reign of Furgh Oorr; slavery of Hin continues, but Hin are somewhat better treated. The dragon Thauglor, noting the arrival of elves into his lands in -400 DR, ceases to claim his tribute that same year as he watches the elves encroachment.

-389 DR – The “Orcstrife” begins. Furgh Oorr is slain, but no orc can hold the throne; war between orcs erupts across the country. Pestilence ensues while the “Savage madness” governs the orcs; much bloodshed.

-388 DR – The Hin discover Blackflame deep under the mountains; the Orcstrife continues.

-386 DR – The Third Rising. Hin defeat the orcs, but humans, dwarves and other humanoids continue to invade the land; lawless times begin.

-385 DR – An invasion by Jhaamdath (ostensibly to pacify the chaos in the land) this year is thrown back by a Duergar army allied with orcish mercenaries. Fortunately the human army so weakens the returning Duergar that they are unable to re-establish the Glittering Kingdom and return below.

-385 to -252 DR – The Time of Heroes. Hin warrior-adventurers flourish in the land, eventually reclaiming much of it from invaders. Rebuilding of a Hin Kingdom begins.

-349 DR – Raiding parties from the City of Westgate cease this year as the dragon Kisonraathiisar, the Topaz Dragon ruler of Westgate, is slain by the Netherese wizard Saldrinar. Saldrinar becomes the city’s first human king.

-348 DR – Youngling black dragons begin to infiltrate the Deep Forests and swamps of the Gulthmere and Dragoncoast; and thus the name of “Dragoncoast” still used to this day.

-339 DR – The Year of Sundered Webs causes some small havoc in Shaerdon after the Fall of Netheril. Magical beasts, released from their servitude to Netherese Arcanists, find their way into the deep forests to prey upon the Hin.

-337 DR – Hin agents hire the first Human Wizards to come to Shaerdon to help slay the beasts of the deep forests. To this day, some few rare (and goodly intentioned) wizards are allowed to live within Hin lands on condition that they aid the Hin against magical beasts.

-286 DR – Hin note with trepidation the fall of Westgate to the Vampire Orlak. Vampires had preyed upon the Hin for ages off and on because of the deep forest’s shadowy canopy.

-276 DR – The change in government of Jhaamdath results in the new government desiring a powerful fleet upon the Inner Sea. Jhaamdath forces concessions from various Hin Clan Lords to supply Jhaamdath with timber via the port of Tothmeer. Fine gems secretly paid to Emperor Dharien’s closest advisors keeps Jhaamdathan armies from outright invasion.

-264 DR – The Hin Warrior Gunzuth adventures within Jhaamdath and its environs. His efforts result in convincing several Hin Clan Lords to secretly fund the Church of Auppenser and the city of Gharrent to rebel against the Empire of Jhaamdath this year. The failure of Gunzuth to help his friends in Jhaamdath result in the heavily scarred warrior’s return to Shaerdon and never leaving its bounds again.

-255 DR – The Year of Furious Waves brings the destruction of Jhaamdath and freedom for the Hin from their forced tribute to that Empire. The loss of so many lives does have a profound effect upon the Hin however; serious talks of unity among the Clans begin.

-254 to -251 DR – Many petty warlords attempt invasion of Shaerdon from the lands of modern Turmish; free from the ordered structure of Jhaamdath’s rule, and desperate at times for resources, the humans strike often against the Hin along the coastal paths into the lands of the Hin. Most such bands are no more than desperate brigands and they are easily turned back.

-251 DR – The Restoration. Elders proclaim Gunzuth the Clanless as the First Sheriff of Shaerdon. He rules wisely and well. The land prospers. He formally organizes a militia structure among the clans and places permanent guard on all approaches from southern lands. What few realize is that Gunzuth is a Psion of considerable skill; his mantle of leadership is primarily successful because he is able to root out “Bad Apples” among the various clans.

-247 to -238 DR – The “Procession of Justice” brings the God Tyr to the Vilhon Reach. His efforts to pacify the chaos of the Vilhon is greatly appreciated by many Hin; and his church gains a solid following among the Hin of Shaerdon.

-214 DR – Death of First Sheriff Gunzuth; Shaerdon split into Five Shires, each ruled by a Sheriff; the whole being ruled by a Council of the Five Sheriffs. The “Golden Years” begin. Few nations near Shaerdon threaten it, the Hin living peacefully with the inhabitants of the Gulthmere Forest and lands around.

Circa -200 DR – The Five Sheriffs note the arrival of humans in the southern region of Cormanthor from across the Dragon Reach. The Hin begin earnest trade with these newcomers; some Hin decide to settle alongside the humans.

-153 DR – Dwarves establish the city of Proeskampalar (later to be called Procampur) which attracts few Hin to trade; the Hin having little liking of dwarves, even if they aren’t Duergar. It does increase sea trade however, and many ships leaving the Vilhon reach sailing along the coasts begin to stop more frequently at Hin ports. Westgate benefits greatly from this trade, but the Hin stay wary of that city.

-137 DR – Turmishan adventurers destroy the Vampire King of Westgate (a common saying in the Shires: “We KNEW he was a vampire!”); and trade begins in earnest again with Westgate.

-74 DR – The human city of Marsember is founded, the Hin not so secretly celebrate the continued “plight” of Thauglor in the face of expansion into his domain. Trade with Marsember is as secretive as possible, as many fear still to be eaten by Thauglor.

-37 DR – Hin traders happily begin trading with the settlement of Alaghon in what will eventually become Turmish.

-29 DR – The city of Starmantle is founded officially; Hin merchants dare coastal paths to trade. The tiny trails of the Hin in the Shires are of little use to larger races; and so sea trade remains the primary means of trade between the Dragoncoast and the Vilhon Reach. The Druidic Masters of the Hin think this best at any rate.

1 DR – The Standing Stone is raised by the elves of Cormanthyr and the Dalesmen (some small number of which actually includes Hin farmers), ratifying the Dales Compact between them and starting the Dalereckoning calendar.

4 DR – Mercenary forces from Alaghôn put to port in the Shires for supply before heading to Westgate to war. This is the first foreign army supplied peacefully from among Hin ports.

Circa 10 DR – The settlement of Suzail settled, some few Hin go beyond Marsember to trade there.

26 DR – The founding of the Kingdom of Cormyr. King Faerlthann is given a gift of fine Hin wares and gemstones by the Five Shires, grateful that the lands belonging to their ancient nemesis Thauglor are shrinking.

Circa 50 DR – Hin traders have found open markets for their wares in the Vilhon Reach as the area begins to become more heavily populated and civilized again. However, the city of Hlondeth is as far as most Hin merchants are willing to travel.

75 DR – The Hin avoid the worst of the plagues that wrack southern Faerun. They withdraw into the Five Shires and prohibit entry into their lands until they are sure the plagues have passed; though many Hin still perish, their sort of secluded society doesn’t suffer nearly so bad as neighboring human realms such as Westgate which loses half of its population.

144 DR – As Chondath is founded, the Hin begin to resent the humans of that nation in their wars against the elves. Hin begin pulling back even from Hlondeth and trade only within Alaghon and then return home.

Circa 200 DR – Cedarspoke, a druid enclave dedicated to Silvanus, is established in the deep forest of Gulthmere at the base of the waterfalls cascading from Lake Arluin. Many Hin gladly settle with the humans and half-elves to form the community which operates independently of the Five Shires as the Hin rarely penetrate into the “High Forests” of the Gulthmere near the mountains.

220 DR – Coronal Eltargrim of Cormanthor allows Hin to enter his domain. Many scores of Hin migrate to the great forest of Cormanthor to settle; primarily Hin druids and the wood-wise. Trade to the Coronal’s realm increases via the coastal Dales.

227 DR – The Dwarves of Alaoreum destroy the red dragon Stormcrossing; while their presence is then noted by the humans of Turmish, the Hin send gifts (of items other than gold or gems, as the Hin are firm believers that Dwarves cast too greedy an eye on mineral wealth from their history with the Duergar) and great offers of foodstuffs in celebration that the dragon will no longer raid Hin farms.

257 DR – Westgate is conquered by Pirates searching for a new free-port after being pushed from Hlondeth. Trade ceases again with Westgate, and goes instead into Starmantle. The cities of Westgate and Starmantle have for centuries competed against each other in trade, and the Hin continue their attempt to play the cities against each other to allow the Shires to remain unmolested by a united western neighbor.

270 DR – The Five Shires withdraws its trade from Turmish and Chondath as the two nations go to war; citing neutrality, the Hin simply desire to remain free of possible entanglements that may harm their merchants.

284 DR – A great “Halfling” migration hundreds strong arrives at Myth Drannor from Meiritin and Tethyr by way of the first open portals set up to bring folk to the city. They find some dozens of “halflings” already there as trading merchants and adventurers from The Five Shires. The groups celebrate in the midst of Myth Drannor after finding new kin.

286 DR – The Hin immigrants to Myth Drannor open taverns to all races, thereby causing all elf-run taverns, inns and halls to lessen their strictures on patrons over the next several years. Back in The Five Shires, Hin begin to open many more taverns and begin to once again welcome folk of other races into their lands.

292 DR – Gnomes come to the city of Myth Drannor for the first time since the time of Netheril; Hin from The Five Shires invite the more magically inclined (meaning Illusionists!) to visit The Five Shires where they would be paid well to help cloak the land in Illusions to help thwart invasion and raiding. Some few accept as individuals; but the Hin are saddened that Myth Drannor is much more appealing to the gnomes than the Shires.

300 DR – As Chondath and Turmish arrange their “Shieldmeet Wars” the Hin cautiously return to trade with both kingdoms. The founding of the bardic college Academia Vilhonus this same year is great cause for celebration by the Hin who invite bards to visit The Five Shires and perform. The ancient history of the Hin of The Five Shires begins to be spread about Faerun.

346 DR – The Hin Warrior Halden is made a lieutenant of Arms-Major Pirphal of Cormanthyr and is offered the gift of one of the first three Baneblades.

352 DR – Fire causes considerable damage to the shipyards and granaries of Alaghon in Turmish; Hin trade goods to Turmish increase considerably and the Sheriffs Council actually gifts Turmish with ships constructed in Tothmeer.

358 DR – By this year, the Hin have well established sea trade with many of the nations along the shores of the Sea of Fallen Stars, their galleys staying close to shore; Hin favor the ports of Cormyr and Sembia, not wishing to venture too far from home or into lands belonging to slavers and warmongers. Lieutenant Halden of Myth Drannor is given the first of the Baneblades of Demron; the Coronal is sent many grateful gifts by Hin who support his policies toward their people.

400 DR – Trade from The Five Shires to Sembia becomes strained as orc and goblin raiders hound the fledgling cities of Chondathan and Chauncelgaunt (present-day Saerloon and Selgaunt) where the Hin prefer to port. It is soon discovered that Pirates have taken coin from the humanoids to deliver them to the coasts of Sembia.

429 DR – Westgate is free from the rule of pirates as Mulsantir Illistine forces them from the city and becomes the new King. The Hin gladly once again trade with Westgate and reduce their trade with Starmantle.

429 to 432 DR – Hin trade to Cormyr is halted as a large pirate force, led by Magrath the Minotaur, seizes Suzail after paying off the King of Cormyr’s father-in-law. In a fierce battle in 432 DR, Suzail is reclaimed and Magrath the Minotaur is defeated; trade is restored.

452 DR – The “Realm of Mynth” begins expansion after the Shoonite wizard Myntharan takes the crown of Westgate. His armies conquer a large area of the Dragoncoast and right to the borders of the Gulthmere Forest. The Sheriffs continue to allow trade with the Realm of Mynth.

462 DR – The Coronal halts the building of many structures in Myth Drannor and curbs immigration as well; the Hin of The Five Shires begin to invite gnomes to their lands, but continue to fail in their bid to bring more magical warding to their clan holdings.

472 DR – The harvests of The Five Shires is so abundant this year that many say it could feed all the Hin for two years. The deep cold lockers and cellars of the Hin are stocked to bursting and still great feasts and festivals are celebrated with near abandon.

480 DR – The “Realm of Mynth” is shattered with the death of Myntharan. The “crowning” of the androsphinx Lyonarth is heard with some great trepidation among the Hin of the Five Shires; many remember the stories of days when a dragon or vampire ruled that city and Hin suffered attacks by “the minions of Beast-Kings!” Trade continues however, as many proclaim Lyonarth far more favorable a monarch than the human Myntharan.

512 DR – An orc horde of the Candlekairn clan, long hating the prospect of fighting in the twisting paths of “The Cursed Lands” (aka The Five Shires) spills out of the Orsraun Mountains against Turmish, destroying several Turmish cities before it is finally routed in later summer. Hin adventurers attack many of the Candlekairn orc holdings in the mountains while the majority of orcs are away to cause mischief and destruction against their most hated enemy.

515 DR – Hin from the realm of Meiritin reach the Shires and tell of their mistreatment at the hands of humans in the west. While these Hin (primarily the older or younger) settle within The Five Shires, many native Hin youths seeking to fulfill their wander-lust venture to the west to “make things right” in those lands.

516 DR – Hin from the Delimbiyr Vale and humans from Delimbiyran establish Secomber; and Hin from the Shires base their adventures from this new city.

517 DR – Mount Andrus in the Orsraun Mountains erupts, inflicting further punishment on the Candlekairn orcs; the Hin celebrate and send piles of bones and rocks as “tribute” to the orcs in the mountains.

Circa 600 DR – Modern ships sail the surface of the Sea of Fallen Stars from many ports by this time. The Hin, with their antique style of coastal galleys begin to fall behind in their seafaring technology and instead simply allow trusted human ship captains to make port to buy Hin goods.

615 DR – The “Winter Sphinx” of Westgate falls prey to the charms of the lamia Nessmara who goes disguised as a gynosphinx. The Hin give it little consideration at this time because the current “Beast-King” of Westgate has caused no trouble for them.

616 DR – The “Beast Monarchs” of Westgate are deposed, and a human monarchy is installed. King Farnath Ilistar is crowned; Hin trade continues in plenty.

661 DR – Coronal Eltargrim “Hin-Friend” passes on to Arvandor. The Sheriffs send gifts to his niece Aravae Irithyl and all the clans of The Five Shires mourn the passing of an elf many consider much akin to the Gentle Folk who once nurtured the Hin when they came to their homeland.

710 DR – Iyachtu Xvim “the Baneson” seizes the throne of Westgate. Unsure of his motives, the Hin call the militia to high alert. The full militia is called up this year for re-arming and equipment upgrading while going through more training. All trade stops to Westgate.

711 DR – The Weeping War commences; though the Hin (and others) will not call it this until later, as many are not aware of the intentions of the Army of Darkness really.

713 DR – Many Hin with no skill in matters related to war, leave Myth Drannor and begin to return to the Five Shires to wait out the war; few realize they will not ever return to the city.

717 DR – The Windlass sends the forces of Turmish against the Emerald Enclave; the defeat of Turmish and the affiliation the Hin have with druids causes the Sheriffs to order all trade with Turmish suspended until the matter resolves itself.

720 DR – With the founding of Elventree, the Hin again begin indirect trade with the elves of the Elven Court. Some few Hin set up permanent “shop” in Elventree.

724 DR – After the last members of the Windlass are slain in battle, the nation of Turmish is ruled safe to trade with again; though the Sheriffs insist that such trade should be only in items that could not be used in war. It is during this time that The Five Shires, directed by the Sheriff’s Council decides to only deal in items of trade from their lands that are “peaceful” and enjoyable.

734 DR – After a series of “mistakes” made by Iyachtu Xvim, a disgruntled host of mercenaries forces him to flee from the city of Westgate. The Hin simply mark the day of yet another despot being deposed within Westgate and carry on with their lives…and trade to Westgate of course.

884 DR – A Chondathan mercenary army is destroyed by the elves of Cormanthor in the Battle of Singing Arrows. The Hin withdraw all trade from both Chondath and its colonies in what will one day soon be Sembia.

896 DR – Extensive poverty and famine stalk the lands of Faerun from this year to 900 DR; but the Hin of The Five Shires, having much in abundance truly only need tighten their belts “a notch or two” and drink a bit less so that bread in plenty can be made.

900 DR – Civil war erupts in Chondath; the Hin notice little as they have still not lifted their ban on trade with Chondath due to the Battle of Singing Arrows.

902 DR – The Sembian City-States of Chondathan and Chauncelgaunt are formally granted independence by Chondath; but in truth have essentially been free since the Chondathan civil war erupted. The Hin begin to again trade with the newly freed cities; but remain far from the markets of Chondath as it enters the horrible days of “The Rotting War” that tears Chondath apart. When Chondath essentially ceases to be, the Hin again decide to allow trade with the remaining city-states.

913 DR – Sembia is officially founded under the Raven Banner, the personal emblem of Rauthauvyr “the Raven,” a human war-leader. The Hin gladly trade with the nation, though its feelings toward Sembia often near anger because of Sembia’s horrible relationship with the elves of Cormanthor.

933 DR – Various islands off the coast of the Five Shires are this year used as year round naval bases for the first time. Hin build large numbers of small, stout rounded ships (nicknamed “Wallowing Turtles” by human sailors for their comical appearance in heavy seas), which prove astonishingly sturdy. Hin seaborne trade flourishes as the Hin “catch up” to the naval technologies of human nations.

944 DR – The Pirates of the Sea of Fallen Stars (steadily on the rise in power since the advent of modern sailing ships) push the Hin from the few islands they claim within the “Sea of Dread” (the Hin name for the Sea of Fallen Stars) and take their ships that are in harbors; many Hin are enslaved as galley slaves or sold in southern markets. In retaliation, Hin begin “Freebooting” and Piracy against the Pirates (and others), which continues to this day.

955 DR – Persistent rumors of a Demi-God called Nobanion stalking the Gulthmere Forest is noted by the Sheriff’s Council. The druids of both Cedarspoke and native Hin druids seem to vouch for the good will of this new power.

958 DR – Contact with Lammasu representing Nobanion results in an elite order of warriors being formed within The Five Shires. The “Fangs” are a group of Hin that form into a Knighthood of sorts; but members are in truth anything from Clerics and Druids, on through Fighters to Thieves as well. Some few Hin are even rumored to ride astride great lions as powerful Knights of other realms do.

992 DR – Lord Saros of Turmish begins shaping his nation into one of the strongest naval powers of the Vilhon Reach; partially in response to increased piracy. The Five Shires decides to build a fleet of ships for home defense to deter possible aggression. To this day, the fleet remains small; but coupled with the numerous Hin Freebooters and Pirates, the shores of The Five Shires remain free from predation by other nations and pirates as well.

1018 DR – The Rage of Dragons strikes the lands of The Five Shires. Fortunately, most Hin have homes built primarily underground; but the coastal cities suffer much damage. Had the Fangs not existed, it is thought damage and death would have been far worse. Rebuilding results in special weapons being built atop covered towers which will help against future dragon attack. While some few dragons had always preyed upon The Five Shires citizens, this attack is nothing like earlier lone dragons; and the Sheriffs begin to equip The Fangs with weaponry capable of doing battle against numbers of dragons. The only good news this year is that the fabled and evil “Devourer,” the dragon Thauglorimorgorus is slain in Cormyr. The Hin celebrate the destruction of the hated creature for a full month.

1058 DR – A huge orc horde invades the southern Shires. The orcs are drawn skillfully into a trap and destroyed in the Battle of Blackflame. Routed back into the mountains by the Hin, the Orcs are once again sent “tribute” in the form of broken orcish weapons and rotten cabbages stuffed inside orc skulls.

Circa 1150 DR – Chondathan mercenaries “spill” out of the Vilhon as Chondath becomes awash with military capable men and women. The Sheriffs again begin to carefully watch to ensure the resurgent power of Chondath does not turn its eyes on The Five Shires.

1150 DR - The undead beast called Borran Klosk marches massive undead armies against the human cities of the Vilhon Reach. The Hin send their readied forces to the aid of Turmish in the Battle of Morningstar Hollows; here the Emerald Enclave, the dwarves of the Alaoreum and the Hin aid in the final defeat of the monstrous Mohrg Borran Klosk and the fiend is imprisoned by priests of Eldath beneath Alaghon.

1154 DR – Chondath is officially no longer a nation, but instead a group of city-states; though in fact it had been this way for long decades in all but name. Nothing truly changes for the Hin, though many say concerning Chondath “Tis always done to you what ya do to others!” meaning that Chondath finally got what it deserved after its many years of wars against elves and its own people.

1164 DR – Immurk the Invincible daringly takes the crown destined for the brow of Palaghard I of Cormyr. Pirates of the Inner Sea have started to increase in both numbers and ability; and in response the nations of the Inner Sea begin building even greater warships seeking to defend their merchant fleets and hunt the pirates in their own lairs. Hin pirates suffer many losses after this time until they too gain greater ships.

1180 DR – Immurk the Invincible continues to grow in power; he destroys or takes nearly all of Sembia’s fleet this year. Hin pirates, at an all-time low in numbers, are little able to protect the shores of The Five Shires against human pirates by this year.

1201 DR – Immurk the “not so” Invincible finally dies in battle against Sembian warships at the helm of his ship, Sea Scorpion; but only from his heart bursting and not an enemies blade. Immurk’s long reign as the Lord of Pirates has cost the merchants of The Five Shires much, and also the lives of many hundreds of Hin seamen who tried to stop his plundering of their trade.

1204 DR – The time when Hin shipping is safer quickly ends as Urdogen the Red claims the Dragonisle and rule of the pirates of the Inner Sea. Raids against the ports and coastal towns of The Five Shires become almost commonplace this year. The Sheriffs are hard pressed to provide adequate protection at sea, and learning from their past experiences with Immurk the Sheriffs order all sea trade suspended until the matter can be dealt with.

1205 DR – A massive investment begins by the Sheriffs to increase the fortifications of its major ports along the very vulnerable coastline of the Shires. Great numbers of humans, dwarves and gnomes are hired to offer plans for how best to defend the cities. Eventually, the Sheriffs decide to award their contracts to the gnomes because the building will take decades and only the gnomes have the lifespan, the plan and the proper stature!

1209 DR – Impiltur, Aglorand and many other nations form a united fleet that defeats a great pirate flotilla led by Urdogen the Red near the Dragonisle. The Five Shires begins trading again, and has stored many years of cheap items to sell to currently strained markets as well!

1220 DR – Turmish begins to wage war against the Dwarves of the Alaoreum. The Sheriff’s order neutrality in the conflict as both nations were once allied to The Five Shires during the war against the Mohrg Klosk.

1227 DR – Dhalmass, the Warrior King of Cormyr, seizes the port city of Marsember. As most illicit trade goods were smuggled into Cormyr via this port by Hin pirates representing some elements of The Five Shires, certain guilds in the Shires are severely hurt after proper searches of incoming ships are ordered by the Kingdom of Cormyr. This forces many Hin Pirates to begin selling their goods in Westgate instead; something many are loath to do, but business is business after all.

1233 DR – The fortifications in Tothmeer are complete this year; the port closest to the Pirate Isles was deemed of high priority and much was spent in its defense.

1237 DR – The fortifications of Thantabbar are completed this year. While work here started after the capitol of Shireton, the capital’s defenses are the most intricate and demanding.

1240 DR – The defenses of Shireton are completed this year. To this day, few nations have such extensive and intricate sea defenses as the Hin capitol. Much gnomish magic and ingenuity is used to create a powerful defense against both the sea and from any attack from land. This same year, the many dozens of gnomish architects and their families are awarded the village of Mar to dwell within under the protection of the Sheriffs and their Krondar (deputies) while Turmish and the Dwarves of Ironfang Keep agree to leave the village free as well. Many gnomes choose to leave for other parts, but many choose to stay within The Five Shires. More gnomes stay within Shireton than move to Mar; making the Gnome Village of Mar the second largest population of gnomes in the area. This year, the gnomes begin construction of a temple to Gond within Shireton as well.

1241 DR – The dwarves of the Alaoreum end the war with Turmish by bringing the mountain down upon their own city and sealing its gates against further attack. The Hin are astonished at this news, and foreswear trade with Turmish and then make ready for any possible conflict with their neighbor which now has an army with no target. The attack does not come however.

1242 DR – Anaglathos, the blue dragon, arrives in Turmish and assumes control of the Kingdom. The army Turmish had used against the dwarves is scattered; thus ending any threat to the Shires. Anaglathos, so consumed with its new role as monarch, doesn’t even cause trouble for the Hin; however their trade remains severed with Turmish. Anaglathos is not firmly in control of Turmish until the following year.

1247 DR – The paladin Corwin Freas is crowned Lord of Turmish after he and a band of adventurers defeat the dragon Anaglathos. Lord Freas erects a monument of apology to the dwarves of the Alaoreum near their “former” city; this action, coupled with the fact Lord Freas dissolves his own monarchy the following year for the establishment of the Assembly of Stars, convinces the Hin to open trade again with Turmish in 1248 DR.

1248 DR – The city of Westgate establishes an elected leadership after its last king dies in a boat race against wizards of Thay. Hin profits increase as human palms need less greasing.

1253 DR – The plague which strikes the northern Inner Sea is mostly avoided by the Hin; however they are forced to suspend trade with nations such as Cormyr and Sembia for the duration.

1267 DR – Prodigious crops cause much celebration among the Hin; to such an extent that many new notches are forced into belts as the truly happy are widened with ample girth!

1288 DR – The Duergar kin of vile, but fabled, Loktal begin to wage war against their weakened kin of the Alaoreum dwarves of Ironfang. Rumor of this war reaches the Sheriffs from adventurous Hin who have breached the Underdark and fought the Duergar of Underspires.

1297 DR – The dwarf city of Ironfang emerges from its self-imposed exile seeking alliance against the Duergar. Just as they were informed by adventuring Hin, Turmish is now ruled by less warlike men; and the Hin gladly begin trade with the dwarves of Ironfang to aid against the hated Duergar.

1302 DR – Knowing that the exposed dwarves of Ironfang could ill afford battle against the orcs, Hin spies “made it known” to creeping orcs that the Hin were pre-occupied with mounting an expedition to aid the dwarves against the Duergar. The Hin army surprises a gathering orc horde south of Wereskalot and routes them back into the Orsraun Mountains in the battle of Fire Rock. The Hin follow the orcs to their many lairs, as can be found, and carry the battle to the orcs in a great slaughter before returning home.

1312 DR – Hin pirates are overjoyed when the Mlaerae re-found the city of Teziir after self-exile from decadent Westgate. Hin leave off fully from doing business in dangerous Westgate at this time and put into Teziir with their “wares” destined for points inland.

1317 to 1323 DR – The Plague of Dragons strikes The Five Shires like much of the Vilhon Reach and beyond. The ports of The Five Shires are hit badly, and many Hin die in the thousands. Clan leaders call for a return to simpler times, and the Hin begin to withdraw from activity beyond their borders; becoming much more insular after this time. While Hin pirates still exist, their numbers and willingness to venture much further than within seeing distance from the shores of their homeland decreases drastically.

1325 DR – Another year of record breaking crops at last gives the Hin comfort after the horrible years of the plague. Though the Hin celebrate mightily their bounty, they still remain “at home” and rarely have much desire to leave their pastoral homeland.

1328 DR – A “distant relation” to King Azoun of Cormyr, who is from the city of Westgate, openly lays claim to the coastal village of Halag. “Baron” Ludwig, son of Hendrik of Westgate, renames his domain the Black Eagle Barony; his initial move into the area is aided by his claim that he is taking the land in the Name of the Crown of Cormyr! The “Baron” even attempts to make his claim legitimate by sending tribute to Suzail. It is said the Baron is aided by a powerful wizard named Bargle from unknown lands; and that this Bargle helped the Baron find the fabled treasure of the long lost ship Winsome Wyrm that was sunk outside the city of Westgate in 1091 DR; and this great treasure enabled his massing of a mercenary army. The truth of matters comes quickly and sharply into focus however; as orcish mercenaries and worse come to the banner of the Black Eagle Baron. The native inhabitants of the area become serfs and the humanoids lord over all in the name of the Black Eagle Baron.

1347 DR – The continuing insular nature of the Hin lead many outsiders to the belief that the plague has greatly weakened The Five Shires. This prompts many incursions into the Five Shires by mercenaries, pirates and evil organizations this year. Each “Invasion” is annihilated by the Hin Fangs which protect the land from “tomb robbers and worse” that raise the ire of the Hin Sheriffs. The corrupt and evil warlord, one “Baron” Ludwig of the Black Eagle Barony is outraged when three separate armies as well as his raiding slavers and treasure seekers were so easily turned back. His “Iron Ring” slavers (thought to be a branch of the Night Masks of Westgate) begin to try and infiltrate The Five Shires ports. By the end of the year, all interested parties have been greatly convinced that the Sheriffs are still well in control of the land and capable of defending it.

1356 DR – Another “Dragon Rage” causes a Flight of Dragons to fall upon the Dalelands, Cormyr, and the cities of the Moonsea. No dragons arrive within the lands of The Five Shires; but the Hin again ensure their city defenses are capable against dragons by learning from those lands that are attacked how to best fight dragons. Many Hin go abroad at the request of the Sheriffs to attempt the hiring of wizards of goodly nature to live within the lands of the Shires. Some few minor wizards, hoping against hope they never have to fight dragons, do indeed move to the Shires and take the lands offered them by the Sheriffs to live upon freely.

1357 DR – The Sage Elminster, while delivering many travelogues, maps and other works from Faerun to Ed of the Greenwood, mistakenly places a misinformed book into the man’s hands. Instead of accurately portraying the history of The Five Shires as a nation within Faerun where Hin have lived for centuries, the book foolishly places the Hin in a fantasy world called Mystara. It is later said that Elminster tells Ed Greenwood that this was not in fact a mistake, but a purposeful ploy to see to the safety of the Hin who make some of the finest tobacco in all of Faerun.

Meanwhile in Faerun this same year; the Hin of The Five Shires decide to once again venture more into the surrounding world and many surrounding nations are glad to see fine Hin wares again in the shops of surrounding lands.

1358 DR – The Campaign begins on the First Day of this year.


EDIT (1:15 p.m. EST 1 June 12): made an adjustment to the timeline for 1240 DR (marked in bold font).

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Edited by - Dalor Darden on 01 Jun 2012 18:17:09
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Markustay
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Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  06:31:03  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just realized something...

Meiritin was found in 227 DR, and it was conquered in 231 DR.... just four years!

Poor little hairy-footed bastards... no-one ever leaves them be.

Map is looking good, by-the-way. I didn't like the way it looked all 'washed out' from expanding it, so now I'm rebuilding great swaths of it. Just started laying the roads (one road, actually - the rest are trails and paths) a short while ago. I referenced several other maps for the Westgate area (damn little on that area - it didn't fall out in ANY regional splats) - I found some hills on the Fonstad map (which appear on no other, and Ed said that one was based on his own maps).

I also fluffed-up the forest a bit (it is going back to the 1e days ), so Ilimar is buried deeper, and the Gnolls (and frog-folk, etc) have more forest to roam now. I brought it right up to the mountains (my assumption here is that the halfling Realm stops at the forest's edge, so in order to have so much mining, the mountains had to actually touch their territory. Its only a matter of time before someone in Turmish gets the idea that if the halflings are tunneling into the mountains, then they are under Turmish (technically), and all their mineral wealth is rightfully theirs.

Its slow going without my Icon set and terrain, but I'm doing it the way I started out - copying and pasting like mad. I can really get all the fine details in now with the higher resolution.

Glad you turned the 'bad dwarves' into duergar - that was my thought as well. Between whats in the Five Shires material, and all the stuff in the surrounding area (from the Vilhon Reach supplement), you have quite a lot of threats (adventuring opprtunities) to choose from.

Can't believe I never noticed the Kirre before - guess Athas isn't as 'closed off' as we once thought (I still think Abeir is Athas).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  07:05:20  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Just realized something...

Meiritin was found in 227 DR, and it was conquered in 231 DR.... just four years!

Poor little hairy-footed bastards... no-one ever leaves them be.



True! They have been kicked all over Faerun! I didn't think they were conquered so quickly in Meiritin though...the GHotR says after 500 sometime...perhaps that is simply when the halflings fled finally?

quote:

Map is looking good, by-the-way. I didn't like the way it looked all 'washed out' from expanding it, so now I'm rebuilding great swaths of it. Just started laying the roads (one road, actually - the rest are trails and paths) a short while ago. I referenced several other maps for the Westgate area (damn little on that area - it didn't fall out in ANY regional splats) - I found some hills on the Fonstad map (which appear on no other, and Ed said that one was based on his own maps).

I also fluffed-up the forest a bit (it is going back to the 1e days ), so Ilimar is buried deeper, and the Gnolls (and frog-folk, etc) have more forest to roam now. I brought it right up to the mountains (my assumption here is that the halfling Realm stops at the forest's edge, so in order to have so much mining, the mountains had to actually touch their territory. Its only a matter of time before someone in Turmish gets the idea that if the halflings are tunneling into the mountains, then they are under Turmish (technically), and all their mineral wealth is rightfully theirs.

Its slow going without my Icon set and terrain, but I'm doing it the way I started out - copying and pasting like mad. I can really get all the fine details in now with the higher resolution.

Glad you turned the 'bad dwarves' into duergar - that was my thought as well. Between whats in the Five Shires material, and all the stuff in the surrounding area (from the Vilhon Reach supplement), you have quite a lot of threats (adventuring opprtunities) to choose from.

Can't believe I never noticed the Kirre before - guess Athas isn't as 'closed off' as we once thought (I still think Abeir is Athas).



I'm really glad you decided to do this MT! I was afraid any map I made would have been horrible (which my first was!).

I should hear back tmr on that Photoshop by the way!

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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  07:47:42  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Using a poor man's grasp of making things, I tried a Cover for this work:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10166328/Cover%20for%20The%20Five%20Shires%20of%20the%20Forgotten%20Realms.bmp

Anything better you would like to do...please?

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Markustay
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Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  08:55:21  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nice.

Meiritin was actually conquered at least twice. Eventually they just said screw-it and moved on.

The Gnomes of Mar could be Netherese refugees (their descendents, actually).

Going through stuff, i just realized I'll have to convert at least 3 other maps, maybe 4 (one in the Darokin supplement). They are all upside down.

Also...

Eastshire = Westshire (that one's confusing- maybe Weastshire)
Southshire = Eastshire (I might just go with Suthshire, after the famous Suthberry clan...)
And Highshire = Darkshire (not that I needed to change the name of this one - it just fits the theme better - they are on the fringe of 'civilization').

Yeah, might as well keep it simple with Weastshire and suthshire - easy for folks to remember. 'Darkshire' should probably just be the nickname for the place (so officially its Highshire, but everyone calls it "Darkshire").

I may want to contribute lore to this as well, now that you've put my name on the cover.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  15:24:47  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Nice.

Meiritin was actually conquered at least twice. Eventually they just said screw-it and moved on.

The Gnomes of Mar could be Netherese refugees (their descendents, actually).

Going through stuff, i just realized I'll have to convert at least 3 other maps, maybe 4 (one in the Darokin supplement). They are all upside down.

Also...

Eastshire = Westshire (that one's confusing- maybe Weastshire)
Southshire = Eastshire (I might just go with Suthshire, after the famous Suthberry clan...)
And Highshire = Darkshire (not that I needed to change the name of this one - it just fits the theme better - they are on the fringe of 'civilization').

Yeah, might as well keep it simple with Weastshire and suthshire - easy for folks to remember. 'Darkshire' should probably just be the nickname for the place (so officially its Highshire, but everyone calls it "Darkshire").

I may want to contribute lore to this as well, now that you've put my name on the cover.



You have already contributed to lore! A map is worth a picture, and a picture is worth a thousand words right? The additions you have placed help a great deal to add depth and connections to Faerun.

For the gnomes of Mar however, I did add in how they came to be there (and much later). As of 1240 DR they were in Mar due to being granted lands for their work on the ports of The Shire (which they started in 1205 DR).

Keep it coming!

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Markustay
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Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  16:27:41  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ahhhh... but Mar fell outside of Hin territory (perhaps that was a deal brokered between the Turmish, Hin, and dwarves of the Aloreum?)

Anyhow, I decided to keep Highsire - no need to add to the already (sometimes) confusing conversion.

I have other plans for 'Dark Shire'... its the secret 'sixth shire' (or so it is called in whispers...). Going with the whole "#6 is evil" thing. Its basically all the Gulthmere that the Hin don't control (to the west). I don't want to spoil the look with borders (which doesn't really fit in the Realms), so I may do a small insert-style map showing political boundaries. Hopefully I'll have another WIP up later.

EDIT: I am currently placing 'temp paths' (my newest technique), so it will be easier to tweak the terrain, AND see precisely what is going on. Without the roads (and many labels), it gets very confusing. I am actually kinda surprised how 'small' the shires are, which you only really see when the roads are placed. Its deceiving because of the way things are spread out.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 01 Jun 2012 18:54:50
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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 02 Jun 2012 :  01:59:27  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Did you know that as of the 3.0 Forgotten Realms Setting, there were over 73,000 Halflings living in Sembia alone?

BUT...there are over 87,000 Halflings in the MOONSEA area!

And only just over 12,000 in the Dales?

Farther afield there are over three quarters of a MILLION halflings in Tethyr alone! Amn ONLY has over 440,000!

That's gotta be included in this "thing" somehow! lol

I'm still really confused about the 87,000+ halflings in the Moonsea area when compared to the 12k in the Dales...

EDIT (9:30 p.m. EST 6/1/12): one thing I can say for sure is that I'm not at all feeling guilty about that 220,000 population for The Five Shires any longer!

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Edited by - Dalor Darden on 02 Jun 2012 02:30:55
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Markustay
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Posted - 02 Jun 2012 :  04:04:25  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If halfling can field 2/3 their population as an army, why the hell haven't they taken over Toril yet?

For some bizarre reason, in 3e they inflated all the populations all over the Realms beyond belief - I would just ignore most of the figures in the 3e material. Someone over at the WotC boards once crunched all the numbers, and realized the planet couldn't feed all those intelligent species - within 6 months of the release of 3e, everyone should have starved to death.

None of the Moonsea cities (that I know of) likes demi-humans very much - where are they all hiding? Is Zhentil keep using them like cattle to feed their orcs? On the other hand, its makes sense there are so many in Sembia - lots of rich merchants' pockets to pick.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 02 Jun 2012 :  04:24:26  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, the inflation was also in 2e! I mean, the cities of Sembia were topping out over 120,000 people each!

I'm going to say the Hin population of the Shires is 220,000...and that is a LOT of Halflings! Considering that over 40,000 of those live in three cities on the coast, I think it isn't too much.

For the Army thing...I'm going to put a maximum muster at about 20% of the entire population. Even at that, nearly 75% of that number would be militia only.

The standing army of The Shire I think looks good at about 5% of the population...which makes it about 11k troops spread out over their navy, city guards, the Fangs, the Strikers and etc.

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Posted - 02 Jun 2012 :  05:32:33  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
An awesome idea for The Five Shires by Markustay!

quote:

Yup.

A Hin could sit comfortably in the front - on the box that covers the axle - and have plenty of cargo room, but a human would have to sit on the floor of the cart, which wouldn't be very comfortable on long rides (but it sure beats the hell out of walking hunched-over for 8-10 hours!)

I suppose elves could crouch-walk (Drow would have it easiest), but Elves could also cut cross-country easily enough. There may also be some sort of weird sling-carriage (that hangs between two ponies) for traveling 'dignitaries'.

New Lore: The Buck-Apple tree.
Buck-Apples are smallish apples that grow on dwarf buck-Apple trees. These strange fruit-bearing trees were specially planted all over the Five shires long ago to serve a two-fold purpose. Firstly, they are delicious! They were planted on either side of all the major back-trails, one right after the other - this gives travelers plenty of food to eat as they plod along (and Hin are notorious about having enough food to eat!)

Secondly, the tree is an odd shape, as well as small - it grows very similar to an Accacia tree (a species found in Katashaka, and supposedly on other worlds as well). The tree reaches a maximum height of about 8', but its canopy (starting at about 5') can spread as far as it is tall in all directions. By planting these on the either side of wide Hin trails, they create a near-solid cover that keeps aerial marauders at bay, and also keeps 'big folk' from going where they are not supposed to. The branches are also very tough and knobby - almost thorny - and are difficult to cut through. legends say the Halfling gods created these trees as both protection and nourishment for the Hin, while others tell a tale of druids and magical folk assisting the small folk when they first came to the Gulthmere.

Regardless, the trees do a very adequate job in keeping unwanted intruders out. The only way for larger predators (including humans) to penetrate deep into Hin territory is to cut across the dense, primordial forest, and few non-Hin have done so and lived to tell the tale. The Gulthmere is no easy mistress - Gnolls and worse can be found in its depths.

These trees - along with other varieties - are also planted all around halfling homesteads and within their town - from above, it is nearly impossible to spot a Hin village. The only truly clear areas within the Five shires are the farmsteads, and these are maintained some distance from the living areas. One could fly on dragonback all day over the Gulthmere forest and not see a single halfling, or any other sign of them, save for a few scattered crop fields. Even their livestock is well-hidden from the unobservant eye.

Halflings are so over-protective of themselves they've even been know to alter names and even compass directions on their maps, just in case they fall into the wrong hands (one Hin trick is to create a map that you must look into a mirror to read properly!)



This would lead to MUCH Cider in the Shires, many pies, lots to feed horses on trips and so much more. Apples are a versatile crop, and I can indeed see them all over the Shires. I'm sure in some places there might be holes where a tree has died or some such; but even in these places the Hin would simply make camp...or ambush!

Essentially, Hin (and other shorter races) would be able to make full use of the roads to make good time; but taller races would be forced to resort to essentially travel in wilderness terrain at a much slower pace. Hin armies would easily be able to out-maneuver invaders (especially orcs) even though normally they have a slower rate of movement.

Excellent stuff on the trees!

I like the map idea too. Very simple, but how many orcs are going to be carrying around a mirror...or are even able to read!

EDIT: I forgot to even mention the Hin up in the apple trees spying on passersby or attacking from the relative safety of thorny trees!

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Edited by - Dalor Darden on 02 Jun 2012 06:09:35
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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 02 Jun 2012 :  05:47:28  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How about...

New Lore: Boltbriars

All over The Five Shires, Hinfolk constantly consider ways to ensure they are safe and that their land won't again fall to invaders. One of the earliest methods of bringing Hin safely away from harm was the invention of the Boltbriars.

All around villages, townships, in the wilds, and even within parks of large cities you will find large stands of flowering or berry producing briar patches. These places have long served as refuge for Hin in trouble from bigger folk and even larger predators such as bears or magical beasts.

Each large stand of seemingly normal thickets of flesh tearing thorny bushes actually holds small Hin sized crawlways into which Hin can quickly dart if being chased. This would protect Hin from normal predators, but such is usually not enough against a patient foe who would simply wait for the Hin to emerge; and so in the midst of these will be found a small burrow tunnel that leads down into the ground and then into a mazelike complex of tunnels.

Even if smaller predators were to dare a boltbriar, the tunnel itself is usually covered by a hatch to hide under; and if a larger humanoid foe were to belly crawl into the place (not always a good idea if the Hin you are chasing is armed!), prying open the hatch and then crawling into dark and close quarters is enough to delay chase. Meanwhile, the Hin that bolted into the briars has often quickly found his way through the tunnels and out an escape hatch in either a distant similar boltbriar or even into a village where help can be obtained.

Any Hin native to an area will know the lay of the land and where the local boltbriars are and their many interconnected tunnels and escape routes. Local militia often will use them in defense of the land to flank or attack from the rear as well. In addition, many of the chambers in these boltbriar tunnels will have some few weapons such as arrows, bolts, a couple of daggers and even several days rations in tiny sealed casks.

These tunnels are sometimes occupied by burrowing animals, but frequent visits of the militia or farmers with dogs usually keeps them clear; as well as liberal use of certain strongly scented herbs that most wild animals equate with civilized folk and so stay clear of.

In the deeper parts of The Five Shires, the Fangs (the professional standing military of The Five Shires) also use boltbriars in various locations for use in scouting, camping and stocking of weapon caches to be used against future threat.

An old Hin saying goes "If a tall one thinks simply staying clear of brambles and briars will keep them from getting poked when they are in the wrong place, then they don't know how bloody the briars can be!"

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Posted - 02 Jun 2012 :  06:52:33  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Against flying foes (such as dragons and such)...

Through the history of the Hin within the Gulthmere Forest, flying predators have vexed them; especially dragons! To instill some fear in any beast that has much of a mind (and to outright kill others who just don't learn from their mistakes!), the Hin have created nasty surprises for flying predators:

New Lore: Tree Pikes

Especially near villages, Hin will often fasten strong hafted pikes of heavy steel blades within the surrounding trees. Large dragons and beasts as big as these would easily be impaled by their own weight if they simply tried to force a landing near Hin which they had spotted beneath the tree canopy. Smaller, and less threatening birds of prey and natural creatures go completely unharmed by such Hin practices. The pikes are often checked, and just as often ensured to be sharp and hidden.

New Lore: Leg Breakers

Even if a dragon or other large predator decides to avoid the trees and instead land in clearnings, the Hin often have nasty surprises for them there as well. Pits made at sharp angles at the top to the bottom (and there at the bottom often are placed sharp objects!) are dug even in the fields of the Hin farmsteads. These are covered with rather stout boarding and then covered in dirt as well (or grasses in certain places) to appear just as the ground. Only the truly heavy weight of creatures even larger than horses can break through these covers; and often will considering the heavy weight such a beast would place on its limbs as it chases Hin on the ground. When such are ruptured, the beast's leg will, it is hoped, be hurt severely or broken at best.

New Lore: Strawhooks

Many Hin use thatching upon the roof of their home, especially in the countryside. A common practice is to first place a series of fishing nets over the roof which has dozens of fishing hooks imbedded within its mesh. This is then carefully covered by the Hin so that it is unseen. Any large creature (or even thief!) trying to cross or land on the roof is very likely to have several hooks bury in either their bare foot or their boot. Pulling away is no help once the trap is noticed because this only causes more of the net to pull free and more hooks to become possibly attached to the offender in a very unpleasant way. Lighter creatures, such as birds and such, are in no danger from the hooks as they are buried deeper in the thatch than the weight of the bird would press down upon.

New Lore: Wing-whippers

Because a truly stealthy dragon or other magical creature might approach a Hin village while invisible or hidden in some other manner, most Hin hang wing-whippers between the trees of their village. These very fine ropes would never stop the swooping attack of a dragon, but they will impede his flight in the future. As the beast hits the wing-whipper, it rips several many thonged razor sharp lengths of flailing chains from nearby trees! The flight of the swooping dragon, wyvern or what have you causes these small wing-tearing flails to twist around the limbs (and hopefully wings) of the flying creature and begin to inflict numerous cuts. Swooping down on a lone Hin trying to get lunch can result in the attacker having severe damage done to their wings ere they clamp their claws or jaws on the Hin farmer! As few flying creatures simply drop right out of the sky on top of the Hin and must instead fly at a swooping angle, the trees of The Five Shires are extremely vexing and even deadly at times to flying predators!

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 02 Jun 2012 :  07:06:03  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here are a few more:

New Lore: Haytowers

All across the farms of The Five Shires are small farms which produce and abundance of food; and so, often they are sought out by wild beasts, magical creatures and other types unwanted by the Hin. On these farms will often be found the many piles of hay used for roof thatching and feed for certain livestock...or just as often bedding for anything from chickens to the Hin as well.

Beneath many of these piles, however, stands a sturdy wooden tower. Having hay piled all around and over top of it, this covered wooden tower makes a good observation platform; even if a bit hot in the hottest days of the year. Safely tucked within will usually be found a pair of Hin militia or farmer's hands armed with heavy winch powered crossbows much larger than Hin will usually use. The weapon being mounted on a swivel-post and capable of firing from any direction from beneath the seemingly innocent pile of hay.

These towers are typically no higher than eight to ten feet tall at most and not truly intended to be defensive positions. Many have hooks along the wooden supports to help hold up the hay, and these may pose some small danger to larger animals attacking the haytowers; but it is not their purpose. At the bottom of the tower beneath all the hay will most often be found a hatch that allows access to a tiny crawlspace (just big enough for a gnome or halfling perhaps) that grants access to boltbriar tunnels.

New Lore: Pony-Pricklies

Nothing makes a Hin farmer or merchant more angry than some wild beast attacking his pony! To give at least a sore mouth or broken tooth to would-be attackers, Hin have started to fasten spiked collars and even modified "dagger-saddles" to their pony stock. While this doesn't always prevent their stock from being attacked, it does help many survive as a beast will often withdraw from attacking a pony after its own mouth is gashed by the blades from modified saddles and collars!

New Lore: Ripple-Reeds

For a hiding Hin farmhand or even an ambushing Hin Fang, Ripple-Reeds have been used by the Hin for hundreds of years. Not just some random reed, but a finely carved stout hollow tube of wood, Ripple-Reeds are carried by almost all Fangs and many militia as well. Hin fisherfolk will also usually carry a Ripple-Reed in case they are set upon while at work too.

The hollow tube, usually a foot long or more (most being almost two feet long) is used to simply hide beneath the water most often, usually among a patch of reeds growing from a pond or slow moving stream's elbow nook. Most are thick enough to withstand any sort of normal use without breaking, but many Hin farmers and fishermen carry much thinner sorts that they fashion from actual reeds.

The most famous use of Ripple-Reeds is in the slaughter of orcs (or other invaders) crossing a shallow river. To either side of the ford, Hin will be laying deep and on their sides, all the while breathing in the air from above until the orcs are nearly fully cross. When they are attacked on the other side by the majority of a Fang, the Hin in the water stand and begin to barrage the invaders with slingstones. If the orcs turn to attack, the Hin simply slip beneath the water and float down river before emerging on the side of their allies to barrage the flanks of the orcs with yet more slingstones...which are in abundance on the bottom of the river should they run out of normal stones.

New Lore: Scarebows

A scarebow is a very simple contraption really. It is a post set in the middle of a field with a well oiled heavy crossbow attached with a swivel mount. The relaxed arms of the weapon point out like the arms of a common scarecrow, and a heavily oiled leathern jerken is placed over it along with a straw hat and other items to make the weapon seem almost identical to a common scarecrow unless someone is close at hand to inspect it.

When a farmer needs to delay an attacking beast or even humanoids, he simply unlatches the bottom fastener, lifts the heavy crossbow and cranks back and arms the machine. Most of the encumbering scarecrow covering is easily removed at the same time, and then the Hin has only to aim and shoot.

Scarebows are not only common in Hin farms, but even along the watch towers and walls of smaller Hin towns and villages. Here they appear as a vigilant guard standing upon the wall looking out, and a patrolling Hin militiaman will simply turn them or move them about a bit here and there while he is on watch while passing by that point.

Of course, the most famous Scarebow is a golem created by a wizard for the village of Ringrise. This odd contraption actually DOES walk about the exterior of the village, looking all the while like a Scarecrow; but the golem can actually winch and arm its own heavy crossbow and fire it as well by falling to all fours! Called "Old Scareorc" by the children of Ringrise, the golem has proven many times to be a valuable defense for the village; although it will only attack orcs without being given specific demands by the wizard Harndigle "Half-Halfling" who lives in Ringrise.

Harndigle has no Hin parent or ancestry, he is just a very short and wiry human who moved to Ringrise some fourty or so years ago from some far land to experiment with various contraptions in the peace and quiet of The Five Shires.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!

Edited by - Dalor Darden on 02 Jun 2012 21:03:06
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 02 Jun 2012 :  20:40:02  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hinways - A Hinway is a special path designed by halflings for use in their lands, primarily to make it very difficult for 'big folk' to get about. The trails are actually quite wide - some say as big as human roads - to allow the wide, low Hin-wagons to pass each other. The primary feature of the Hinways are the stands of buck-Apple trees that line either side. These - coupled with well-cultivated razorvines, boltbriar thickets, and other assorted hard-to-navigate features - only give a clearance of 5' (or about 1½ meters)from the ground. The Hinways are well-maintained, not just by the Fangs but by every halfling that uses them, to keep their precise height. This includes leveling the floor of the trails as well - any ruts are filled, and other unevenness that may occur over time do to erosion and other forces.

Another feature of the Hinways is the numerous traps, aside from the razorvine mentioned above. These include false side-trails with pit falls, webs (some with large hungry spiders), Confustications (see below), tree-pikes, and many other devious traps. These are all labeled clearly in Hin Runes or by other markers - at halfling eye level - and every Hin knows them well (including children old enough to walk). The markers are a well-guarded secret of the Hin - even halfling outsiders will not know all of them, except for the few that are marked in Hin Runes. Very rare is the non-Hin that is allowed to know of them and their meanings - Elminster being one of those individuals. Such people are deemed 'fatpals' - a term of endearment and friendship amongst the Hin.


Buck Apples - These fruit grow from the Buck-Apple tree, and are actually a large variety of crab apple. They are both disease and insect resistant. Hin love the bitter taste of these fruit, but most others do not. Elves absolutely loathe the flavor, and dwarves and gnomes will usually only use them in other dishes, such as savory pies. Humans consider them an 'acquired taste' - why humans bother acquiring a taste for something is beyond the Hin, but some do learn to enjoy the flavor of buck Apples (and manage not to get belly-aches in the process). Except for the shirepig (boar) and a few other not-so-discerning critters, Most animals will eat the tart fruit only when very hungry. Chordevoc Races of the Wild, pg.188), strangely enough, will eat them when they do not find some nice, crunchy rodents to eat.


Surlish - This squash-shaped fruit is a shiny yellow, albeit a bit more orange then bananas, and has succulent flavor all its own. Some folks (like dwarves) find the taste way too sweet, but halflings love extremes in their food and cooking, and have created many a popular recipe using things others don't normally enjoy. The Hin have devised a method of extracting the overly-sweet nectar from the fruit, and use this as a sugar substitute in many of their recipes (sugar being much harder to procure in the north, unlike down in Luiren). One big favorite of visitors to the Shires is 'Buckleberry Pie', which is actually made from Buck Apples, cranberries, and a decent helping of Surlish nectar (to offset the bitterness of the Buck Apples).

Surlish trees look much like Peach trees, with whitish-wood and bright pink flowers. The fragrance from the flowers is quite potent, and insects go into a frenzy when they are in bloom. Outsiders import these flowers both for their beauty, and to extract their fragrance in the making of expensive oils. The oils have become quite popular in big cities like Waterdeep... just don't go out into the garden with it on (as many a noble lady has learned, much to her chagrin). Insects love it, and the rendered-down oil is even more powerful then the flower's aroma in this regard.

Sly Hin have occasionally sold this oil to ignorant adventurers heading into the swamps as 'insect repellent'; they normally only do this to ones they don't like. If the adventures manage to return safely to Hin lands seeking repayment (and revenge), the locals will all act as if the halfling in question didn't exist - even the constabulary. ALL Hin know when strangers are about, long before they get close, so its an easy thing for one to avoid those looking for him (or her). In the Five Shires, this practice has given name to the phrase "Surlish-Oil Salesman", which denotes a trader of ill-repute.


Confustication - this is a region of confusion; an area where you can travel into, but get quite lost once inside. Many of these regions are naturally-occurring in primordial forests; some sages claim it was the work of the Fey long ago, while others say these regions are actual 'thin spots' between this world and the hidden one (the Feywild. However, Halfling Masters have managed to duplicate this effect and put it to good use, protecting Hin lands everywhere. Inside the region a person gets confused and turned-around, and even if they can see the place they want to get to, they can't quite reach it (Savings roll against WIS each turn, with a cumulative -1 to the roll for each turn spent in such an area after the first). Elves, Halflings, and Gnomes are less-affected by these areas, for whatever reason (they do not start making checks until the third turn entering, and then only receive the -1 penalty every other turn). Halflings do not know why this is, and Elves keep quite about it, but the Gnomes love to claim this is part of their Fey heritage.

A person found wandering inside a confustication can be brought out by another who is thus-far unaffected, or a rope (or whatever) can be thrown to them, and they can be lead out (but they must close their eyes, lest they still try to stray). Official Hin - soldiers, sheriffs and militia - along with others (trappers and woodsmen) often check the ones they know about, just in case a halfling somehow foolishly got himself trapped. It is whispered the masters can create fetishes (small pouches of stuff with amulet-like qualities) that gaurd against the effect, although they themselves seem to be immune (along with Druids; Rangers save as do Hin).

When a Halfling says someone is 'confusticated', it means they are confused, usually in a very humorous manner.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 03 Jun 2012 05:21:41
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1265 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2012 :  02:31:16  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I once commented to Ed about using the Five Shires for Luiren... His response:

quote:
Sure. Superimpose the Luiren cities and government structure, shift places "just a little" to make room for them, and, yes, it works admirably for that. Almost as if someone designed it that way. ;}


Judging by eBay, The Five Shires is rare and difficult to find. I don't know if it was a short publishing run or something else, but when I was trying to lay hands on it, I was routinely seeing it go for $50. I lucked out and got a copy in really good condition for like $25.

Ed also told me there were some printing issues with that source, too, but the copy I got was one of the ones without those issues.


Five Shires really is a gem. I love mine, and (a long time ago) used it to flesh out the Hin in my Realms.

Just out of curiosity, what was the printing error?


For Dalor: I like the idea of patching it into Gulthmere. Though I'd be sure to tie in a lot of trading caravans, lots of trade both in and out.


4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!
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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 03 Jun 2012 :  02:42:10  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise
For Dalor: I like the idea of patching it into Gulthmere. Though I'd be sure to tie in a lot of trading caravans, lots of trade both in and out.


The larger ports of Tothmeer, Thantabbar and Shireton (with Shireton Port...now called Amry) will indeed be more welcoming to big folk. There is likely a solid road from Tothmeer to Telpir (haven't seen MTs latest map); but for the most part, the Hin prefer to trade with humans only in the three major cities and keep anyone they don't want far away from their "comfort zone" within the deeper lands.

There won't be any trade directly to Starmantle simply because the Hin don't control the West Gulthmere (wild lands belonging to tribal folk and Gnolls for the most part); but trade by ship is well and done very often.

In the Five Shires book, the Halflings don't seem to like to venture far from their protected homeland...and that is essentially what MT and I are working toward: a land where they feel free to move about at will and in large numbers; but beyond that safe place they usually mix more with humans (such as in Sembia and Turmish) where they let the bigger folk do the fighting.

EDIT (1:25 a.m. 6/3/12): after seeing MT's map below...ignore what I said above!

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!

Edited by - Dalor Darden on 03 Jun 2012 06:24:42
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2012 :  05:16:35  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
New WIP - the red lines indicate hinways. I still have to tweak them; thats just a rough layout. Since I already have both Turmish and Erlkazar maps, I really don't need to go too far south. I think the final product will be double-wide, and I will have both the complete file, and the split version (for easy printing) available.

I bumped-up the resolution, and it looks great on my comp, but for some reason it looks crappy on DeviantART - I must being something wrong, and I'm too tired to figure it out.

Tomorrow's another day.

(P.S. - I spent over an hr just correcting the Pirate Isles - too bad you can't see most of them)

EDIT: Fixed it - I'm not used to having a resolution that DeviantART automatically turns down - I had to edit my settings. looks good now. Its also obviously far from finished - I still have a lot of the original terrain to go over.

EDIT2: Read about Soulborn HERE., and also the last sentence of THIS article.

We've got Spriggans!

EDIT3: We got a lot more then Spriggans! Download THIS - its an adventure set in the Gulthmere, and its LFR, so its official. Wonder where I'm going to stick the Eladrin town (who weren't even Eladrin when this campaign takes place).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 03 Jun 2012 16:47:16
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34140 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2012 :  15:00:20  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I once commented to Ed about using the Five Shires for Luiren... His response:

quote:
Sure. Superimpose the Luiren cities and government structure, shift places "just a little" to make room for them, and, yes, it works admirably for that. Almost as if someone designed it that way. ;}


Judging by eBay, The Five Shires is rare and difficult to find. I don't know if it was a short publishing run or something else, but when I was trying to lay hands on it, I was routinely seeing it go for $50. I lucked out and got a copy in really good condition for like $25.

Ed also told me there were some printing issues with that source, too, but the copy I got was one of the ones without those issues.


Five Shires really is a gem. I love mine, and (a long time ago) used it to flesh out the Hin in my Realms.

Just out of curiosity, what was the printing error?



Duplicate pages, which meant some of the pages that were supposed to be there weren't.

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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4047 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2012 :  20:08:16  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

New WIP - the red lines indicate hinways. I still have to tweak them; thats just a rough layout. Since I already have both Turmish and Erlkazar maps, I really don't need to go too far south. I think the final product will be double-wide, and I will have both the complete file, and the split version (for easy printing) available.

I bumped-up the resolution, and it looks great on my comp, but for some reason it looks crappy on DeviantART - I must being something wrong, and I'm too tired to figure it out.

Tomorrow's another day.

(P.S. - I spent over an hr just correcting the Pirate Isles - too bad you can't see most of them)

EDIT: Fixed it - I'm not used to having a resolution that DeviantART automatically turns down - I had to edit my settings. looks good now. Its also obviously far from finished - I still have a lot of the original terrain to go over.

EDIT2: Read about Soulborn HERE., and also the last sentence of THIS article.

We've got Spriggans!

EDIT3: We got a lot more then Spriggans! Download THIS - its an adventure set in the Gulthmere, and its LFR, so its official. Wonder where I'm going to stick the Eladrin town (who weren't even Eladrin when this campaign takes place).



I think we can leave the 4e adventure out...it would go against what we are working toward I think.

I'm not sure about the Spriggans...I like spriggans though...

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2012 :  21:07:54  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Spriggan Tower" works well in the Dark Forest (the western arm of the Gulthmere).

Just 'repaired' the Giant's Run Mountains _ needed to do that for my next Erlkazar map anyway (I am ALWAYS doing a new version of Erlkazar - its my favorite campaign region... to map).

I realize now that I misplaced Smuggler's Bank - I followed my own maps rather then the official ones (I must have liked it better there... still do). I think I'll leave it, since those roads were a pain-in-the-arse, and we really don't need two towns right on top of each other. EDIT: Nevermind, I moved it - I couldn't live with myself. Now we have a brand new hamlet (fishing village) where Smuggler's used to be.

I think the Eladrin Town/Fortress can be canonically ignored regardless - it probably 'arrived' when the veil between this world and the next (The Feywild) thinned-out during the Spellplague (as it did in so many other places).

Or we could just say the Hin "killed them and took their stuff".

Still not sure how I want the new map to fall-out - I'm now leaning away from the idea of side-by-side 8½ x 11 maps (in portrait mode). I should have bumped-up the Res even higher - more fits on a single page then I plan to do (so the whole thing should have been about twice as big). On the other hand, the new resolution is over 4 times what the official map was, so its still light-years better. And besides, printers easily scale the image to fit the page (which shouldn't cut into the quality in any noticeable manner, considering the new 300 ppi).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 03 Jun 2012 22:45:09
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